Besides food shortages during the prolonged lockdown, medical attention has also become an issue, especially for Shanghai’s frail and sickly elderly. Many have turned to mainland mutual-help platforms and social media for help.
The Chinese media Da Ji Yuan reported on April 13 a story of a 65-year-old man jumping off from the second-floor balcony to seek medical help for his mom. Mr. Guo, whose mom was 90 years old with inflammatory lung disease, could not contact any of the city’s public hotlines for support. His mom was also suffering from high blood pressure and heart problems.
Authorities had sealed off the building where he lived for days. Guo said, ” This government is completely dysfunctional,” adding that everyone was passing the buck from top to bottom.
As an ambulance would not come, Guo called for help online. City officials quickly got in touch with Guo’s nephew, though not to offer support but to ask for Guo’s online post to be taken off.
The renowned economist once touted Shanghai’s anti-epidemic measure, saying it represented “the power of China.”
Zhou, a woman in Shanghai, told Reuters on April 12 that she also had to seek help online when she worried about the risk of infecting her paralyzed mother from a urinary catheter used for about a month.
She said the tube replacement only took about 10 minutes, but most hospitals have been locked down, and their departments that perform the procedure have shut down.
In March, the Shanghai government said it would create conditions for hospitals to ensure health care for patients with urgent needs, such as dialysis or cancer treatment. However, with the Shanghai government’s city blockade policy, many patients have difficulty accessing medical services to support special treatment or obtaining permission to leave residential communities.
Larry Hsien Ping Lang, a prominent Chinese economist, has lost his 98-year-old mom due to delayed treatment for her kidney failure. She passed away while waiting for the COVID test result. Lang himself could not get to the hospital when his mom died as he was stuck in his neighborhood arguing with authorities for permission to leave.
He wrote on Weibo, “The tragedy could have been avoided.” He added, “Based on the past diagnosis, she just needed one dose of injection [for her kidney] to be alright.”
Shanghai residents have suffered food shortages and a lack of medical support due to the regime’s zero-tolerance COVID policies. Despite the implication of many controversial measures, the city of 25 million still witnessed rising numbers of infected cases, with over 27,000 cases recorded on April 14.